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Comment Re:Thank goodness! (Score 2) 178

Actually, the International Teleocmmunications Regulations, revision of which fall within the ITU mandate, are one of the few binding treaties out there.

Of course, as pointed out below, US constitution is much more deferential, in theory, to the enforceability of treaties to which the US is a signatory in local law, so not really something constitution-loving Americans can be genuinely offended by...

Comment A semi-informed rant (Score 4, Insightful) 178

I think this may actually not be a waste of time. A lot of the mess we see now is due to the inclusion of patented technology in international standards (be they ITU, ETSI, ISO-IEC, ANSI whatever). And the fact that there was so little oversight on this, the validity of patent claims and subsequent licensing, was due to the direct wishes of the telecom/technology companies themselves. The standard bodies were all to happy to accommodate their constituents in this point for years.

Now the companies, and the government who are in the awkward position of depriving their citizens of the latest cell phone because of some obscure patent law issue, are realizing that they are in the process of hanging themselves with the rope they had requested.

This is a very broad issue and the ITU has had a decent track record of elevating previously obscure tech issues into the international policy realm. If anyone expects overnight binding measures to come from this, they are deluded. But raising awareness of the issue and getting the various actors to take a position is the unavoidable first step in resolving any complex issue.

Good luck to them.

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